More people are riding bikes, but good luck finding one

Jun 18, 2020

It is not some visual quirk of the pandemic, you are indeed seeing more people riding bicycles on Western New York streets.


There are more new bikes out there and those red Reddy bikes across Buffalo are also getting a good workout. Reddy Bikeshare co-founder and communications director Jennifer White said the GPS-equipped bikes report in with the latest details on where people are riding.

Credit Jennifer White / Reddy Bikeshare

White said there has been some exploring, like in a little-known city park on Unity Island. With the massive fall-off in tourism and fewer people working downtown, there are fewer of the bikes pedaling around the Central Business District.

White said the chilly spring kept riding down until the weather improved.

"We definitely started seeing more use as, as soon as the weather changed and as we started going through the phases of reopening and people are starting to get out a little bit more," White said. "I think people also just need to get out just for some piece of mind, to get some exercise and activity, too."

There is also a new program to recognize health care workers.

"We do also have a $1 annual pass available to essential workers, right now," White said. "We were awarded an emergency grant by a funder called the Better Bikeshare Partnership. So we're currently distributing $1 annual passes to essential workers, medical personnel, anyone on the front lines."

GObike Buffalo Executive Director Justin Booth said there is so much interest in bike riding this year that bike shops are pretty much sold out.

"All the bike shops locally that I am aware of have sold out of all of their bicycles that are $1,000 or less and that is consistent across the country, as well," Booth said. "Our community workshop, which is over on Colvin Avenue, we have a number of used bikes for sale and our sales are 10% over what they have been in the past."